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Posing for family photos

Easy tips for Instagram-worthy shots of you and your loved ones
https:A portrait of a woman with short silver hair wearing a light blue dress and touching her chin

By Jennifer Tsay, Cofounder & CEO

Wed, Feb 16 2022

A family of four laughing and walking on the beach, with one child being held in the air.Photo Credit: Shoott
So (naturally) you want your family to look good in your photos...

...but you’re unsure of how to make that happen.

The good news: our photographers are pros at working with families and kids and will arrive at your session with lots of ideas to work with! However, if you’d like to be extra prepared and have some options to play with, here are some of our go-to posing tips for family photos:

Traditional posed photos

For the more “posed” approach, play with: 


Grab the traditional shots with everyone standing or sitting, but level up your photo by mixing standing members with others who are sitting or kneeling. Work with elements like large rocks, benches, trees and grass.


For a more artistic approach, you can have the photographer work from the side or from behind or above you. A family favorite is having kids or parents lying on the grass and having the photographer work from above.  

Mix-and-match combos 

Think of all the combinations of family members - just kids, just parents, all the female or male-identifying members, and so on! Pro-tip: sessions are a great opportunity for parents to snag solo LinkedIn shots.


For pups and young kids in particular, bring their favorite toy or squeaker so the photographer can use it to grab their attention and direct their gaze towards camera.

Candid shots

For the more “organic” approach to really capture personalities, work with:


Movement helps minimize stiffness or awkwardness. Walk towards or away from camera, run, twirl, jump, or play with clothing - are all great options.


Tell the kids a joke; have them tell you a joke. Talking and laughing together creates beautiful family moments which create family photo gold.


Play with the kids by chasing them, swinging them, lifting them up in the air. Their energy and joy inspire truly Insta-worthy moments. 

So give some of these posing for family photos a try! Our goal is to capture a gallery of your family filled with variety so you have lots of golden moments to choose from. 

Final note

Some folks have worried that 30 minutes would be too short for their family. We want to assure you our 30 min sessions are sufficient to generate a quality gallery for the vast majority of families (we’ve had sessions with 20+ family members!).  We’ve also found that it’s the perfect amount of time to prevent meltdowns for kiddos (and sometimes spouses).

For more resources  and posing inspo for family photos:

Shoott's Family Photos Pinterest Page

15 Best Poses for Photographing Families

Tips for Posing Large Families and Groups

8 tips for photographing a large group with success

A family of six smiling and sitting on a large tree branch in a park setting.
Three young girls and a woman are laughing together while sitting on a bench with a bridge in the background.
Two children happily running towards the camera with three adults following behind, in a scenic autumn archway.
A happy family with two children smiling and hugging each other on a park bench surrounded by flowers.
Three young children sitting in a field of yellow leaves
Three children piled on top of an adult, lying on grass in a park
A family of four smiling and playing outside a house with red door
A black and white photo of a group walking away with arms around each other in a park setting

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